US drone company Skydio has long put autonomy front-and-centre, and built up a software inspection platform – Skydio 3D Scan – to take advantage of it. The latest feature, 3D Scan Indoor Capture is a free addition to the platform to improve exploration and detailed scanning of indoor spaces.
The Skydio drones – including the Skydio S2+ – are able to fly into an indoor space (where the is no GPS), explore it, and capture three dimensional imagery. Images can be sent to the Skydio cloud and compared to others taken at different times.
As Skydio put it "The operators job is simple." Operator, which might once have been called pilot, simply sets the drone off with a little guidance as to the area being scanned, and the drone will create a 'digital twin' of the environment which can be viewed in remote 3D software by "decision makers" (again, Skydio's term) who never have to visit the site.
One possible use of the 3D survey is in landlord's property records – before and after a location is let – so tenants can be charged for any issues. Others, of course, involve the monitoring of projects in which material is moved, since the software also allows measurements of size and volume to be made on the digital scan.
Introducing 3D Scan Indoor Capture - Skydio's game-changing solution for digitizing large-scale indoor environments! Learn more: https://t.co/E7JZp04jNp pic.twitter.com/bbiBDvDVhDMay 2, 2023
Given the speedy deployment and the thirst for data, this technology could offer serious competition to 3D photography in the real estate market. At the moment our best cameras for real estate includes the expensive Matterport Pro 2, and with the growth of consumer devices the Insta360 X3 there can only be more demand for detailed, explorable imagery. This tech will beat a view you can 'look around' for the user (though it'll be harder to tidy the house you're selling for!)
There are other new features in the latest update, include an AutoCrop feature which will will keep the subject in frame when exporting and a Smooth Mode for, you've guessed it, smoother subject tracking – these might be more use to video makers.
We've noticed that Skydio has picked up the pace with their software improvements recently, from what was already a very strong position compared to the leading competitor, which is why the drone is on our list of best camera drones. Given the clamp down on Chinese products, we can see it being very popular in the USA especially going forward.